I buzz outta Minnesota and head across South Dakota where I see the ol' Missouri a com'n... always signals a getting deeper into the West feeling for me. As you cross you see alotta stations and such as Al's Oasis... memories of 2010 when I came back onto the onramp here too hot after a wild thunderstorm the previous night (patch of sand and stones covering the entire road) that had me lowsliding up the ramp at 30mph.... destroyed the righthand glove and tore up right side tank pannier. A wake up call................... As I ride on West I get into some of the toughest conditions I've EVER ridden in! Yea I know I'm on a super slab on flatland how tough can it possibly be right???????? Well man/chick imagine steady quartering headwinds at 35-50mph ALL DAY LONG! for hundreds and hundreds of miles on end! And I'm running WIDE OPEN into these winds (this goes from Worthington Minnesota CLEAR to Coeur d' Alene Idaho, nearly 1,300mi... wide open the whole way... my average speed is 77.7! My fastest average speed ever!) I'm in a full tuck as low as I can lay down on the bike with the Lynx screen lowered to it's lowest position (later I see the winds had forced it back into the carbon fiber fairing, rubbing notches into the lexan) My back is screaming from the awkward contortions I assume. I'm hanging onto the seat off to one side to best let the screen and forks block the winds. I constantly stare at the GPS inching around on Desiree' to eeeek every .10th of a mph out of her. Desiree' is tilted over so far that I must look like a Circus act to everyone I pass..... aaand EVERY rig I pass causes a VIOLENT lane swap from this lane to that. And on topof it all I have to break outta my position every pass to use the turn signal and give a wave! Yea I can't break etiquette ya know. Any way all the boulder strewn, muddy rides are only burst of energy... this one is FOREVER! I'm getting more of a workout than last years 11hr ride from Souix Falls to Rapid City in the Blizzard! :eek1 Sooo later in the day I pull over in Kimbal SD at a fuel station that looks a bit familar to fuel up and rest a bit. I glance over and see Ditty's Doo Wah Diner... I'm hungry, I'm tired aaaaand I'm IN! James Dean, Elvis, Maryline etc.... and lots memorabilia... I meet Heather... who helps me get back into the mood to take pics and get the notebook back out again. I start to get back into THE MOMENT... as these adventures tend to do.... I had been a bit too into my head up to this point. Thank you Heather!^)- After talkin gto Heather I see a woman come walking in on crutches... I go over and kneel down to ask about whether her injuries are recent or from birth. She says she broke her neck 4 wheeling in the Black Hills and usually uses a chair. Her name is Doni and she's with her husband Craig. She spent 5 months in a Denver Hospital and I can hardly hear her speak do to damage to her Larynx from the emergency tracheotomy. I remind her how her faith and belief in herself can/will help her to heal... to talk with her body etc..... She says they told her she'd never walk again!! But she does (note this is another place western medicine botches up.... if the patient believes this, then they won't!) They told me I'd only be 70% at best after my 1st broken back! I'd say I'm doin' MUCH better than that.... like 100% maybe. We have a pretty long and tearful talk then as we say our goodbyes Steve Miller Bands: Jungle love, is playing in the background..... I can't help but to feel how perfectly fitting it is...... <IFRAME height=315 src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/HBFXpLOslXU" frameBorder=0 width=420 allowfullscreen></IFRAME> "But lately you live in the jungle I never see you alone But we need some definite answers So I thought I would write you a poem ~The question to everyone's answer Is usually asked from within~ But the patterns of the rain And the truth they contain Have written my life on your skin" "You treat me like I was your ocean You swim in my blood when it's warm My cycles of circular motion Protect you and keep you from harm ~You live in a world of illusion Where everything's peaches and cream We all face a scarlet conclusion But we spend our time in a dream~"